Several million of you have downloaded the Live Search Maps Add-in for Outlook which allows integration in Outlook with maps and has some cool functionality around extending your appointment blocks to account for automatically calculated travel time among other things.
We have received a large number of support cases that are caused either directly or indirectly because of this add-in. These include hangs, crashes, and leaks. There could be any number of different reasons for those, but to name one culprit, the add-in interops with CDO 1.21, which if you are a messaging developer following the blogs of anyone on our team, you will know that this is not supported.
Worse than that, it is distributing CDO.dll, which is also not supported. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/171440
A customer of mine reported an issue that lead us to another discovery. The add-in installs a custom form to your Personal forms registry and changes the default form for the calendar to IPM.Appointment.Location. The form it publishes is based on the LEO.oft form that it installs in your Program Files. The OFT was clearly customized from an existing item in the designer’s mailbox. The form contains a value for PR_START_DATE and PR_END_DATE set to 4/6/2006. The problem with this is that Outlook doesn’t use PR_START_DATE and PR_END_DATE, but CDO 1.21 does and OWA will set them as well. Outlook uses custom named props to keep track of dates. Exchange normally keeps these custom props and PR_START/END_DATE in sync, but only if it needs to because of a modification you did from OWA or something like that. Otherwise, the original values will stick.
If you have a CDO 1.21 application which filters based on a date, all the appointments you created with this form in your calendar will appear to be on 4/6/2006.
The long-term plan for what to do about all the problems in this add-in has not been determined at the time of writing of this blog, but it may result in the download being removed from microsoft.com. This won’t help you fix up any items that already exist in your calendar though – nor will it prevent users from using the add-in if they already have it downloaded and installed.
If you insist on continuing to use the add-in, then please at least use this updated form.
You will need to publish this form to your Personal Forms library over the original. If you uncomfortable with that, you can
This should allow your CDO 1.21 code to execute normally on any newly created items. For existing items, you can use Outlook Object Model or CDO 1.21 (or Extended MAPI) code to loop through the appointments in your calendar and delete the PR_START_DATE and PR_END_DATE properties if they are on 4/6/2006 with a message class of IPM.Appointment.Location. Outlook should still be able to work with the appointment just fine without those properties.
Misha, a Senior Dev on the VSTO team just posted this blog describing why handling events in managed code can be problematic. This is not news to our team, but he provides a good explanation of why it’s problematic.
Misha Shneerson : COM Interop: Handling events has side effects
If any of what he says sounds familiar, it’s because our own Matt Stehle has been talking about this for a while.